What happens when the vast amounts of carbon in Arctic soils are released to the atmosphere? This is the central question fieldresearchers, operators of long term observatories and modellers from 18 partner institutions in the EU intend to answer with the PAGE21 project. By pooling expertise from various subjects, the scientists aim to deliver a valuable foundation for the United Nations 5th World Climate Report.
"I'm looking forward to close co-operation between the leading scientists in European permafrost research," said Prof. Dr. Hans-Wolfgang Hubberten of the Research Unit Potsdam of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association. "We need to improve our basic understanding of the physical and biogeochemical processes in permafrost so as to be able to provide more reliable predictions of future global climate change," elaborated Hubberten.
Standardized measurements of the permafrost are a prerequisite basis for the improvement of global climate models. "Today's global models are frequently inaccurate because the permafrost regions, with all their feedback mechanisms, are under-represented." says Hubberten. An urgent goal of PAGE21 is to undertake steps to improve the models, which provide the basis for future mitigation and adaptation strategies confronting society in the 21st century.
For more information please read the PAGE21 press release or follow the opening of the project webpage at www.page21.eu next week.